24 February 2008

Chris Pirillo and His Dog Mac

Well, I bit and watched all 25 plus minutes of Chris Pirillo's new video on YouTube. I would say it wasn't as interesting as I had hoped. The video should be below for your viewing pleasure.

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

I don't see what is to be argued over. As much as one would want to say a Mac is a Mac it is simply not true. A Mac is just preferred hardware bought by Apple to implement it's own OS. This way of building and programming for a PC with a finite number of hardware helps simplify the stability of the OS and it's applications. Smart, but not the begin all, end all. The real difference between a Mac and any other PC is just the OS. To be technical, a Mac is a PC. Remember, "PC" stands for Personal Computer. "PC" has little to no reference to it's Operating System (OS).

To let it be known, I have not yet used Vista or Mac extensively. My uncle uses Mac and is a very strong supporter of this hardware and software. He has his reasons for this and I see them clearly. I on the other hand love to mess around a lot with my PC and tweak it until I can do anything I can dream of with it. For me Mac is not the route I wished to take to accomplish this.

Early in the video Chris Pirillo states that Linux isn't ready yet. I disagree with this statement totally. Just like Windows or Mac OS, you need to sit down with it and learn the system. Linux can and does just as much as both those OSes plus more due to how it is built, but it does have a slightly steeper learning curve. This learning curve is quickly being brought down by the Linux community such as the folks at Ubuntu. In fact, for a lot of folks that have used Linux for more years than their Windows years, they find the learning curve for Windows to be quite high for some of the more advanced functions. Such as ipconfig in the command line. In fact, almost all command line options in WinXP are a pain in the neck unless you know to use "Run" and implement "cmd". All Linux Distros I have seen and tested so far all have a Terminal GUI icon just ready for a quick click.

I am not sure how much experience Mr. Pirillo has with Linux, but to dismiss it all together and not really including it in the old Mac vs. PC routine is not the way to be totally informative.

The point of all of this is I expect more from Chris Pirillo on subjects such as these. Not one time in the whole video did he give examples of what the differences are in the two OSes. It would have been nice to see his opinion on the ease of use, or steps taken to implement simple or complex tasks that even he himself must use every day in his line of work. Please, just don't give statements and no examples to help emphasis exactly what you are ranting or raving about.

I feel very sorry for Kat. She was brought on the show to help in some way, but due to Chris continually cutting her off and not really giving a good direction on what was supposed to be discussed is really a shame. You could hear in the poor woman's voice that she had a lot of great professional insight to add for both Mac and Windows use, but was unable to deliver. Her eventual confusion on what to do when Chris's ADHD kicked in and he decided to go get a trophy CD signed by one of the main developers of Vista was proof of the lack of direction for the discussion.

Yes, he seems a bit young, and has all the charisma of a true PC geek, but he needs to learn to calm down. In a few of his videos you can either hear his wife telling him to keep it down or even see her on the tape giving it her best not to slap him silly. She must be a great woman and a saint to be with Chris. As a consumer I only have to put up with him if I chose to, but this poor soul lives with him on a 24 hour a day basis. I am pretty sure Chris would agree with me.

"Hearing someone is not the same as listening. Remember, you hear noise, but listen to music."

19 February 2008

Black History Month and Other Craziness

Well, it's Black History Month, and also the shortest month in the year, but for me it's just another day, week, month, and year here in Manila. Thank God! If you want to know what I am getting at, please proceed to Google Calendars and check out all the public Calendars dealing with a specialty and minority group days, weeks, and months. It's crazy. A term like Black History, Hispanic History, Women's History, People with Mass Amounts of Boogers History, and so on and so forth is an affront to the individuals being described and the word "history" itself.

I understand things like this are not only to make individual groups feel better about themselves and feel uplifted, but make a bunch of old farts feel better about themselves for allowing such groups to be overlooked in the first place. It's a game of guilt in my opinion. To make one group feel guilty for something they haven't done that others did and to make another group feel like they are special for a day, week, month, or whatever. It's stupid. First of all, if you need the government or the masses to create a day, month, year, or whatever for your skin color, place of ancestry, medical condition, or whatever makes you "different" from the rest of society you need to go outside and find a way to end yourself as soon as possible. The only person that can make you happy is...(wait for it)....YOU! If you can't make yourself happy no one can.

Second, if you consider yourself a label of some sort you have just limited yourself. It's funny when folks like Dave Chappelle talk about "blacks", "whites", and other skin colors, but in the long run these labels are nothing more than CRAP! It's great when the government wants to talk about equality, but when the first thing they ask you on their forms is sex and race. It's just stupid. The best thing we can do is put other and fill in HUMAN or just our names. I am not a white male, I'm a human named Jason Dorfler. No one else is like me. If everyone who looked somewhat like me was just like me in thoughts and likes, well this would be one boring world.

Third in this rant is the fact the deciding parties love to use the word "history" in their description of these special days. That's a bunch of CRAP as well. History is not modular. History is an all encompassing chain of cause and effect that reaches to all things in the universe. "History" belongs to everyone. "History" is not the sole property of any individual group or creed. If you don't think so, try to figure out what the heck is going on in the Middle East right now. One thing caused another, and it has a lot more to do than Jews and Muslims not liking one another. For something interesting look up why Iraq uses Daylight Saving Time.

I really don't think this subject needs any further digging. We all have our opinions and thoughts on the subject. Take time and think why CRAP like this persists. Things like this only divide us further as humans and takes our time and effort away from things that would be a little more productive, like finding the cure for cancer.

Now for my morning quote: "Today is a great day, yesterday was just okay."

02 February 2008

Linux, Windows, and Computer Politics.

There's a lot of things going on in the world of computers and software. Being someone who has to use his computer every day for work, and has the privilege to use the same machinery for my enjoyment and pleasure, I don't see the issue some folks have with MSFT.

I do have some issues with MSFT's OS products. For me it tries to be a little too much for what I want and need it for in some areas and not enough in others, but it still works for some purposes that I have yet to find a replacement for. What they do include in the OS, for example, IE7, WinMedia Player, so and so forth, are nice. They do exactly what they say they do. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes a little more than what I need. I'd give examples of my needs and wants, but these are my preferences and opinions. Someone else may feel these included softwares are exactly perfect for themselves and their family. It's not my duty, nor position, to dictate to others how they should run their lives, much less their computers.

A few years ago many companies brought MSFT to court over their inclusion of many of the softwares that were included with the Windows OS package. Their position was that these inclusions were an unfair way of trying to monopolize the software industries that each of these particular companies were representing. My opinion on this is as such:

It's like Dunlop suing Ford for including tires on their cars that are from a different company, and "not allowing" car customers from choosing what tires they want. Another great example would be Sony suing Ford for including AC Delco radios and forcing customers to use such a product without the option of Sony's Xplosion products.

It's just stupid. The tires, radio, and whatever part you can replace in the car are included by the manufacturer so that the customer can enjoy their ride off the lot. If they want to upgrade their individual parts, they can uninstall such parts and replace them with the product of their choice.

Now with this in mind, let's say IE7 was the tires. I can always install another Web Client. I personally use
FireFox. Why, b/c it does exactly what I want it to do due to the ability to add extensions of all kinds that makes not only my internet experience better, but my computing and work experience much easier and fun. They have an extension for everything. They even have an extension for monitoring my router without me having to open up a new browser or tab to log into my router's settings and status. With download helper I can put my favorite YouTube videos on my HDD and watch them at my leisure. There's just so much to do and so much to learn with FireFox, it brings the fun back into the internet.

Now, let's say WinMedia Player is your radio. Heck, there's so many softwares out there that can replace this one software it's almost ridiculous. Here's a few I recommend for someone to try on the Window's platform; VLC, MPlayer, and WinAmp just to name a few. Many of these players can play more video and audio types than WinMedia Player and iTunes combined. Very nice.

Now, Outlook Express is also nice, but there are so many other products out there for Mail Clients that just blow Outlook right out of the water. I personally use ThunderBird. Again, at first, it will not have many options for an individual to do much with this particular email client, but this also being a Mozilla product, it too has extensions. It even has a calendar extension called Lightning that has just as many options and more due to more extensions that can fully replace Outlook as your email client.

These are just a few of the great softwares you can use to replace your MSFT products that come pre-installed on Windows to replace or augment your user experience. A great place to get started with looking into MSFT software alternatives is here. This is just a few. I also recommend AVG and SpyBot to help secure your Windows OS.

Now, if you are just tired of Windows, or you just want something fresh and new, I recommend trying Ubuntu. It is a Linux Distribution that is easy to use and very stable. I personally love it. (In fact I am using Ubuntu right now to write this blog.) All the alternative softwares I have stated above are all included with Ubuntu or able to be installed with a few simple clicks. Ubuntu is not for everyone however. There are a few things that may be far too complicated for some folks to do or have time to deal with. I recommend researching as much as you can before installing this software, but if you want to just play around with it to see if it is something you may want to try there is what is called a Live CD version you can download. Just download the iso (image of the cd or dvd), burn the image to your disk, and just reboot your PC with this in your disk drive. Nothing will be installed on your PC at all. Every bit of the Ubuntu OS will be installed on your ram, thus never touching your Hard Drive. Now, if you like it, you can install it right from the Live CD session. I highly recommend doing a dual boot system with Windows and Ubuntu so if you get stuck, you can always use Windows to help in an emergency or just to play around. Setting up a dual boot maybe a little too complicated for some people, so make sure you do your research before trying.

Remember, however, MSFT is as big as it is not due to illegal tactics, or any other reason but one. It put out a great product which we as consumers bought and implemented in our lives. There is nothing wrong with this. If you do not like MSFT, do something about it. No matter how much you sue, complain, and do nothing, changes nothing. Vote with your wallet, buy alternative products, or use alternative products. That's what's so great about being in a free capitalist nation. We have the choice to buy and use what we want. If you don't like something, don't buy it. If you don't buy it, the company will either change it's products, tactics, or whatever it is about the company you don't like to win you back as a customer, or it will simply just go the way of the Dodo.

I personally like a lot of MSFT's products. I buy them, I use them, I implement them. But I also like Ubuntu and Linux. I also support, use, and implement these products as well. There are many folks that will disagree with me on my views of MSFT. Many of these folks are deep in the Linux community. I am not here to try to change their minds and views. That is their right to have those views, but I have the right to have mine.

Now for my morning quote:
"I am good, but I can always be better. Be better today."